The Enneagram 4 is the last type of the FEELING CENTRE of the Enneagram, and boy do they feel. So today it’s all about the Enneagram Four – The INTENSE CREATIVE. These are often also called The ROMANTIC or The TRAGIC VICTIM.
“Something is missing – I must find what is missing in my life. I must be true to my purpose and express my authentic self. I must create beauty and meaning for myself and for the world.”
“After all, perhaps the greatness of art lies in the perpetual tension between beauty and pain, the love of men and the madness of creation, unbearable solitude and the exhausting crowd, rejection and consent.” — Albert Camus
Enneagram Fours have the motivational urge to express their uniqueness and be authentic. Fours value individualism and as a result, feelings, self-expression, and purpose are very important to them. They are the romantic type at heart and have a great appreciation of beauty and creating meaning for themselves as well as for others.
Let’s have a look at the four v’s of the Enneagram Four!
Vulnerability (or core fear) – Being Ordinary
What Enneagram Fours fear most is that they could be perceived as rather ordinary and as nothing special and find their identity in being unique and authentic.
Vice – Envy
Their motivation is to stand out from the crowd and to be seen as unique and special. They tend to compare themselves to others, noticing immediately whether other people have something they do not have. This is what provokes their vice of envy, as fulfillment and goodness seem to always be just out of reach. This often gives them this sense of constant lack which is rooted in their image of how things should be or how they are for others – an idealized world that only exists in the imagination of an Enneagram Four.
Value – Originality
Fours very much value individualism and originality. Feelings, self-expression, and purpose are important to them.
Virtue – Equanimity
Equanimity arises when Fours see both their negative and positive qualities in equal measure. This helps them to stop comparing themselves to others, alleviating envy and with this the fundamental belief that what other people have is better.
“It takes a genius to whine appealingly.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
At their best, Fours are experienced as sensitive yet content. They offer the gift of equanimity and authenticity to themselves and the world.
A less healthy Four may feel misunderstood, while others experience them as melancholic and temperamental. This pattern stems from the Four’s acute awareness of their own wounds and flaws.
Of course, like all the other types, the Enneagram Four has its blind spots:
- Fours want to have meaningful and deep relationships but will often act in ways that reflect their need to feel different, special, and separate. This may lead to them both pulling people close and pushing them away, especially if the Four feels rejected or disappointed.
- Fours may also focus on what is missing, desiring what they don’t have and rejecting what they do have. This alternating focus reinforces their feelings of loss and emotional sensitivity.
- Fours may not be aware of the extent to which they self-reference in conversations. Even though Fours desire to draw people close by doing so, others may experience this as self-absorbed.
- This type is likely to be triggered if people don’t fully complete a conversation or don’t give them the time they are requesting. Fours often feel the need to continue with conversations even when others are no longer interested in discussing a matter.
- In believing that others share their preference for discussing emotions and feelings and seeking emotional closure, Fours may dwell on this too much. This could lead to others experiencing the Four as overly dramatic and intense.
Enneagram Fours are emotionally fearless, creative, and have the ability to inspire others to be more in touch with their feelings and their authentic selves. Fours are aware of their own emotions and those of others and seek to understand these emotions. This enables them to connect deeply. Their creative and imaginative capacity enables Fours to give unique expression to what truly matters to them.
In summary, they are able to recognize what is missing and will dive into the heart of matters. Their feeling-based intuition enables them to be highly attuned to the environment. Fours don’t shy away from suffering and the more painful aspects of the emotional world, and this gives them the courage to ask difficult questions. Others can sometimes experience the less healthy Fours as self-absorbed though or even as ‘drama queens’ since the intensity of their emotions can be exhausting to those who are less attuned to feelings.
“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.” — Marcel Proust
🎶My Song of the Week
📚My Poem of the Week
Is one by one of my favorite poets Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919). Although her poetry may lack the polish or depth of many of her contemporaries, there’s something to be said for her simple, direct style – which I like and appreciate very much.
Oh, man, with your wonderful dower, Oh, woman, with genius and grace, You can teach the whole world with your power, If you are but worthy the place. The stage is a force and a factor In moulding the thought of the day, If only the heart of the actor Is high as the theme of the play. No discourse or sermon can reach us Through feeling to reason like you; No author can stir us and teach us With lessons as subtle and true. Your words and your gestures obeying, We weep or rejoice with your part, And the player, behind all his playing, He ought to be great as his art. No matter what rôle you are giving, No matter what skill you betray, The everyday life you are living, Is certain to colour the play. The thoughts we call secret and hidden Are creatures of malice, in fact; They steal forth unseen and unbidden, And permeate motive and act. The genius that shines like a comet Fills only one part of God's plan, If the lesson the world derives from it Is marred by the life of the man. Be worthy your work if you love it; The king should be fit for the crown; Stand high as your art, or above it, And make us look up and not down.
The totem of the Enneagram 4 is the proud horse…
If I piqued your interest to find out more about the Enneagram, your type, and yourself, and how it can transform you and your life, I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here, go to my website or simply get in touch with me directly.
Wishing you a wonderful start to your weekend!